Judge’s order may make masks optional as soon as Monday


Let me set the stage. COVID. 

Ok. Stage set. 

During these past two years, masks have been a big part of everyday life. We have to wear them for a large part, if not a majority, of our day. 

As I write this, there is a lawsuit going on about masks in schools, and it could come into effect as early as Monday. 

Currently, there are actually two important lawsuits going on, one for students and one for teachers. Both of these lawsuits are headed by attorney Thomas DeVore, who is arguing on behalf of hundreds of families who paid him $5,000 to join in on the lawsuit against 140 districts. Cary-Grove is included, as there are two families in district 155 who put their names on it. 

The plaintiff’s (the group that started the lawsuit) main point is that the school is not able to dish out consequences for not wearing masks, as they did not go through due process. Due process is a fancy way of saying that they didn’t go through all the necessary steps to be able to give consequences. In this example, they are saying that the school cannot punish people for not wearing a mask, because the health department doesn’t require it, and the health department can’t require it unless they have a court order. Confusing. 

There are three ways this could play out, but it will definitely affect masks and all the mandates surrounding them. 

One, the current mask mandates will be upheld. The plaintiffs would most likely appeal to a higher court to try to get a different decision, but it probably will not be overthrown. Life will continue as normal, and we will all keep wearing masks for the foreseeable future, and the school mask mandate will be set in stone. 

Two, the mask mandate will be overridden, and the school can’t force us to wear masks. It will look like pre-2020, but with a lot more COVID cases. If this were to happen, the defendant (the schools included in the lawsuit) will also appeal, and it is likely that we will have to go back to masks after the appellate court hears the case.

Three, a temporary restraining order will be instituted for the plaintiffs. This will mean only the people whose names are on the lawsuit don’t have to wear masks. That will be pretty confusing, but I would like to see how that scenario would play out. 

I talked to several students, and a majority of them would not wear masks, mainly because they are vaxxed and boosted, and they just don’t want the extra hassle. Some of them would out of caution still wear a mask, but again, that is the minority. 

Overall, the next couple of days will be big for the future of mask-wearing in school. It will most likely set a precedent for other mandates, and it is possible for us to not need to wear a mask this coming week. Only time will tell.